Bad Omens and Our Only Hope

Just one bad omen, out of many:  Global harvests last year (read: this year’s food) were way below normal due to environmental conditions (read: human-caused climate change) which are already much worse this year (2022-2023 food crises - Wikipedia). The last time there was this much CO2 in the atmosphere, the poles were melted, Kansas City was underwater in the middle of a great inland sea, and much of the world was completely uninhabitable. The effects of CO2 in the atmosphere are delayed by at least 10 years. Even if we stop burning fossil fuels right now, these environmental conditions will continue to get worse every year for the rest of our lives and the lives of our children. As UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, recently put it, “The era of global warming has ended; the era of global boiling has arrived.”

At this point, humanity needs to be simultaneously ending the use of all fossil fuels, radically rewilding much of the planet’s surface, and implementing many other massive Degrowth projects in a last-ditch effort to quickly draw down the CO2 already in the atmosphere. Slowing the deforestation of the planet and expanding renewable energy products are not in the ballpark of what must be done. The root cause of our existential crisis is a civilization that, for more than 10,000 years, has been based on growth. Unfortunately, our growth-based civilization is completely encased in the closed ecosphere of the Earth; we cannot endlessly grow on a finite planet and we have significantly overshot its carrying capacity. We must now radically Degrow most aspects of human activity on the planet if we are to leave a world where future generations can survive. 

Whether voluntarily or involuntarily, Degrowth will happen. Either we will set limits on human consumption or we will continue our free-market system of endless growth and greed. The involuntary route leads to the collapse of human civilization after mass starvation sets in and it ends with the near or complete extinction of our species and most other life on Earth. The choice is ours and we have so far chosen complete collapse. We must choose to voluntarily live in balance with the natural world like we did for the first 200,000 years of human existence, or the planet will come back into balance over our dead bodies.

There is no technological fix to this problem. For example, this article explains why renewables cannot replace fossil fuel energy production:  There are not nearly enough of the necessary metals in the Earth to be able to pull this off. Renewables can only replace a fraction of the energy currently supplied by fossil fuels. Nuclear energy is yet another way to end most life on Earth since we never have and never will figure what to do with the trillions of tons of deadly waste products of that energy production. Nuclear energy waste products are already an existential threat for the next thousands of years. All of it is currently stored in tentative, temporary locations with no plans for where it could safely be stored. We must somehow guard this toxic stuff and keep it separated from the rest of the environment for thousands of years. If our civilization collapses due to the climate crisis (or for any other reason) the release of this unmonitored, uncontained toxic mountain of material will be the coup de gras to most life on Earth.

As long as money in politics remains unchecked, there is no way to widen the regulatory window to rein in the markets that are leading us to our doom. The large donors do not want to be regulated in any way and their subservient elected officials have proven unable to act independently of their donors no matter what the cost. Look at states completely dominated by the Blue team (the one that is supposed to be more environmentally responsible) and you see in those states (Colorado for example: COGCC Permits ( thousands of new oil and gas drilling permits being issued (this is suicide). Without candidates to vote for that refuse to take any corporate (fossil fuel) money, our democracy cannot widen this regulatory window in any significant way. That is why I have run for office multiple times without any corporate donations and will again. Democracy is the only way to change course non-violently and violence cannot bring about the worldwide, coordinated change we need. Waiting any longer for the Democrats and Republicans to bite the corporate hands that feed them and do the right thing is accessory to the crime of killing off almost all (and maybe all) future human life (and all other life along with us).

Our only hope: The Green Party is the only international, corporate-free movement in the world that has been right all along about the climate crisis. It is the only movement that gives us a chance of wrestling power from the short-sighted profiteers that have proven that they will throw humanity's future into the fire for a few more big payoffs. The time for the Green Party is now or never:  Donate  Become a member  Volunteer  Run as a Green Party candidate


By Nathan Kline, 8/1/2023

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  • GreensKC Secretary
    published this page in KC Blog 2023-08-01 21:14:55 -0500